It can be easily argued that there is nothing rock and roll about becoming a parent. Instead of fighting the establishment, you become part of it. Life isn’t fuelled by sex, drugs, and music, it’s filled with sleepless nights, late-night feedings, drugs are often antibiotics, and sex is scheduled on date-night, or a quickie between folding loads of laundry.
Although namesakes have often been based on family tradition, and paying tribute to a notable person who has meant a lot to you. There’s an argument that the time spent lying on your bedroom floor with the music blasting as you peer up at that incredibly inspiring poster of eternal coolness may have had a bigger impact on you than say, your great uncle Cedrick or great-great grandfather Alfie on your mom's side.
Most of us aren’t rock stars, but historically music has and will continue to inspire generations. Music is an inspiration, so why not use rock and roll as your personal muse when naming that budding, "Sweet Child O' Mine" music aficionado?
Here are nine names to be used for bass slapping boys or sick guitar licking little ladies, inspired by rock and roll. Just because you’re becoming parents, doesn’t mean that you can’t rock out while you feed, or change diapers around the clock.
When you think about the legendary rock band AC DC you can’t help but think about the founding member, Angus Young, wailing away on his guitar in his school boy uniform. Angus’s high energy performance all while playing complicated licks has helped launch and maintain the band's level of fame decade after decade.
Angus is a masculine English name with Celtic origins and elements meaning “one” and “choice.” The roots of this name go way back to Glasgow in Scotland and is currently quite popular in Australia.
The name sits at 166 in the US, 378 in the UK, and 60 in Scotland.
Bono (named Paul David Hewson) is an Irish born singer, songwriter, and philanthropist and the lead singer of the band U2. He is well known for his activism concerning Africa and was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to both the music industry and his humanitarian work.
The name Bono is of Latin origin meaning bonus or an Italian nickname from buono meaning 'good.'
While this name isn't on any popularity lists, there are definitely some diehard U2 fans out there who will name their little one Bono.
David Bowie (formerly David Jones) renamed himself so he wouldn’t be confused with the then popular Monkees singer, Davy Jones, or presumably also the infamous pirate and Captain of the ship, The Flying Dutchman. Either way, Bowie felt a need for a new name long before he got into the business of reinventing himself.
The name 'Bowie' was selected in reference to the ultimate American Bowie knife after a short-lived attempt at changing his name to Tom Jones (which also wasn’t going to work out for him).
After the recent passing of the enigmatic rock star there is bound to be an increase in people using the baby name Bowie. Known for pushing boundaries and staying relevant for over five decades, Bowie was a songwriter, painter, actor, and great influence on people and musicians everywhere.
David Bowie will be forever remembered for “Space Oddity,” his character Ziggy Stardust, as well as his collaborations with artists including Queen, Nine Inch Nails, and Iggy Pop. His lyrics and music have touched generations of fans. In my mind he’ll always be most loved for his role of Jareth the Goblin King in the cult classic movie, Labyrinth.
Bowie stayed both active and relevant until his very last days, releasing his swan song final album Blackstar just days before his passing.
“I don’t know where I am going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” - David Bowie.
Bowie is a Gaelic baby name meaning blond, but if you ask me, Bowie will always mean a heck of a lot more than that!
Cash is a money name. Jokes aside, would you consider naming your child after the “Man in Black?”
Johnny Cash was an American singer-songwriter and widely seen as one of the most influential country and rock music legends. His highly relatable songs covered themes including sorrow, moral dilemma, and redemption. Johnny Cash’s most famous songs include “Ring of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Man in Black.”
Cash wrote his own autobiography, in a shockingly honest account of his life, including both highs and lows, and stories about the love of his life, June Carter. Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash named his son Cash, in tribute to this musical icon. The name Cash is most common in the states of Montana and Oklahoma, where country music continues to be very popular.
“Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight.” - Johnny Cash.
Cash is believed to come from the French word, “caisse” meaning money box. Common characteristics of “cash” include being industrious, reliable, and hardworking.
Whether you love him for his folk roots, with songs that became anthems for American anti-war movements, or appreciate the moment he went electric, Bob Dylan (aka Robert Allen Zimmerman) is a larger than life rock legend.
As an artist, Dylan has sold over 100 million records, and in 2008 the Pulitzer Prize jury awarded Dylan a special citation for his, “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power”.
“Take care of all of your memories. For you cannot relive them.” - Bob Dylan.
The name Dylan is Welsh in origin with Dylan being a God or hero who was connected to the sea. The name Dylan is ranked 29th in the United States for s a popular boy name, and 394th as a name for baby girls.
Other notable people with the name: Dylan McDermott and Dylan Thomas.
The Everly Brothers were an American duo, Phil and Don, known for their steel-stringed guitar, and close harmonies. Their most famous songs include “Bye Bye Love,” “All I have to Do is Dream,” “Wake up Little Suzy,” “Crying in the Rain” and “Bird Dog.”
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and The Rolling Stone has declared them, “The most important vocal duo in rock.” Diehard fans widely considered an underrated influential force, forever influencing modern rock.
The name Everly has gained popularity amongst Hollywood in recent years. Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) named his son Everly, and heartthrob Channing Tatum named his daughter Everly.
You can also spell the name like 'Everleigh.' This is a name that can be used for both baby girls and boys and means, 'grazing meadow.'
Henry Rollins is best known for fronting the hard core punk band Black Flag. Post punk rock Rollins has been known for his spoken word, acting and activism. Rollins is an outspoken humanitarian and activist who speaks out on gay rights, social justice, and the promotion of equality.
“Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts.” - Henry Rollins.
Henry is a German baby boy name meaning “rules his household.” You might be surprised to hear that Henry is still popular in the US. It ranks #29 on the popular names list.
Buddy Holly was a big player in the 1950s rock and roll scene. In his career that was cut short on the legendary “Day the Music Died” Holly wrote, recorded, and produced his own music. He was among the first artists to ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He remains one of the most influential pioneers of rock music as we know it today.
The name Holly is taken from the holly tree, an evergreen with clusters of red berries. The English or Irish surname Holley means “the clearing by the hollow.” Holly is more commonly a girl's name. It currently sits at #490 on the popular girl's name list.
Janis Joplin (who was also known as Pearl) was known for her blues vocals, electric style as well as her turbulent life. Janis is one of the many talented artists who joined the “27” club when her life was cut way too short when she passed away from a drug overdose in 1970. To this day, Janis Joplin remains one of the top selling artists in the United States.
Janis is an English baby name that means “God has been gracious” and it is the feminine version of the name John. Janice isn't a super popular name. It ranks #2116 on the popularity list. This is good news for parents who love Janice Joplin, but don't want their daughter to be one of 20 Janices in their city.
Parents can also use Jan as a great nickname for their daughter as well. So if you love this sultry singer, think about using her name for your little star.
Sir Michael Philip (Mick) Jagger (yeah that’s right he’s been knighted for his services to popular music) is famously the lead singer and co-founder of The Rolling Stones.
Described as one of the most influential frontmen in rock and roll, Jagger is known for his distinctive voice and sick dance moves. In the 1960s The Rolling Stones started calling themselves the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” and since that time, very few have successfully argued with them.
The Beatles broke up while the Stones just kept on rolling. Popular songs include “Start Me Up,” “Angie,” “Rock and a Hard Place” and “Time is on my Side.” we know there are many more, but these are recognizable classics that any rock n' roll fan should be able to recognize.
“Lose your dreams and you might lose your mind.” - Mick Jagger.
The English name Jagger means carter, or peddler. Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson used two musicians for namespiration when naming their son, Dylan Jagger Lee. The name isn't on a top 100 list, but it still ranks pretty well in the US at #657.
Joan Jett is best known as the lead singer of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, or her work with The Runaways and their hit “Cherry Bomb.” Jett is a feminist icon and has been considered by many to be the Queen of Rock and Roll and the Godmother of Punk. In 2015 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her contributions to music.
“I figured out it was a social thing, what women were allowed to do. At a very young age, I decided I was not going to follow women's rules.” - Joan Jett
Jett is usually a boy’s name used in modern English referring to the aircraft on an intense black color. Currently, Jett is #332 on the popular names list. For those who think that Jett might be too masculine for their little girl, you can opt for alternative spelling such as Jette which is a more feminine form of the name, or you can choose a name that sounds similar, such as Jamie or Jinx.
It would be musically sinful for me to present a list of rock inspired baby names without paying tribute to the band who once claimed to be, “Bigger than Jesus.” The ballad, “Hey Jude” was an evolution of a song, “Hey Jules” that Paul McCartney wrote after a visit to John Lennon’s son Julian and ex-wife Cynthia following their divorce.
Oddly enough, John Lennon had always assumed the song was written for him. To me the misinterpreted source of inspiration is even more meaningful as an early indicator for the band's ultimate demise.
The song was first released as the A Side on the seven inch single that also included “Revolution” in August 1968. “Hey Jude” was nominated for numerous Grammy Awards in 1969, but failed to win any of them, and in 2004 The Rolling Stone listed the song as number eight in a list featuring the Greatest Songs of All Time.
Jude is a Hebrew baby name that means 'praised.' Saint Jude was the apostle who stepped in for people with problems becoming the patron saint of lost causes.Other notable people with the name: Jude Law. Currently the name sits at #156 on the popular names list.
As the most streamed female artist on Spotify, it’s no wonder everyone is talking about Lana Del Rey’s haunting voice. Her music is known for its Cinematic style, tragic romantic themes and her references to old school popular culture from the 1950s and 1960s.
“Live fast. Die young. Be wild. Have fun.” - Lana Del Rey
Lana is short for Alana and is believed to be derived from the Gaelic name, “ailin” which means little rock. Lana was a popular name in the 1940's and has been upward trending int he last few years. Currently the name sits at #353 on the popular names list.
You could call your little girl Lanny for a nickname or even Lane. This is a great girl name for your little budding artist.
Lemmy was the founder and frontman from the influential band Motorhead. His most successful songs included “The Ace of Spades” and the band’s chart topping live album 'No Sleep til Hammersmith.' He has influenced many modern musicians who consider him the “real” King of Rock and Roll.
"I don't do regrets. Regrets are pointless. It's too late for regrets. You've already done it, haven't you? You've lived your life. No point wishing you could change it." - Lemmy
Lemmy is a Hebrew name that means "devoted to God." Lemmy could be the shortened version of Lemuel. Lemuel Gulliver is the hero in Jonathan Swift’s satire Gulliver’s Travels. This is another name that isn't quite popular anymore. Currently the name sits at #4001 on the popular names list. So if you're looking for a rock'n name that not too many other headbangers will have, consider Lemmy.
Legendary Jamaican singer/songwriter Bob Marley sold over 20 million records during his career and was an active supporter of the People’s National Party. His band, The Wailers, was seen as one of the first globally successful so-called “third world” bands.
In 1975, they had their first Top 40 hit in the UK with the song “No Woman No Cry.” Marley was a world ambassador for reggae music. Shortly before his death he received the Order of Merit from the Jamaican government and the Medal of Peace from the United Nations in 1980. In 1994 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Famous Bob Marley and The Wailers songs include, “One Love,” “Is this Love,” “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Redemption Song.” Marley must have had some pretty strong musical genes, because almost all his children are involved in creating music.
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” - Bob Marley.
Marley is usually a baby boy name of English origin meaning "pleasant seaside meadow." This is a great unisex name, so it doesn't matter whether you're having a little boy or girl, this name will be perfect for either one. Currently the name Marley sits at #863 on the popular names list.
Meg White is a drummer best known for her work in the rock duo The White Stripes. One day just for fun, Meg decided to play on her then husband’s Jack White’s drums and the two formed a band and began performing just two months later.
Their name comes from their last name and Meg’s love of peppermint candies. Meg has been both praised and criticized for her simplistic and primal drumming style, while Jack White has been a very vocal advocate for her work calling her critics sexist. Unfortunately because of anxiety Meg hasn’t played publicly since 2009. Some of their best hits include, "Seven Nation Army," "Dead Leaves Dirty Ground" and "Little Ghost."
Meg is a Greek baby girl name that means Pearl. It can also be a shortened from of Meghan which can also be spelled as Megan and is a Welsh diminutive of Margaret. Currently the name Meg is #1340 on the popular names list.
Patti Smith is an American songwriter, poet, singer, and visual artist who was a highly influential part of the New York City punk rock movement. She has been called the “punk poet laureate” fusing both together in her work. She has won a National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids and was awarded the 2011 Polar Music Prize.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, her album 'Horses' is one of the greatest 500 rock albums of all time. And here's a little interesting fact you might not know, Patti is Jackson White's mother (of the band The White Stripes).
“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” - Patti Smith.
Patti (Patty) is a German baby name that means "strength in battle." Patti can be a shortened form of Patricia, another name close to Patti you might like is Patsy. Patti was incredibly popular in the 50's, but currently sits at #8657 on the popular names list. So if you want a name that not many other school-aged kids are going to have, then this is it!
This list wouldn’t be complete without mention of the “King” of rock and roll, Elvis Presley. He revolutionized dance moves, and had women swooning at his feet. He was also patriotic, serving in the army for two years in Germany, now how rock'n is that?
Elvis rose to fame from humble beginnings becoming the commanding stage presence we all remember, packing more than a lifetime of fame into his 42 years. Elvis holds musical records for the most top 40, top 10, and weeks at number one. Elvis even has a museum built in his honor at his former home, Graceland.
Writer Lester Banks aptly wrote, “I can guarantee you one thing – we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis.” The most well-known Elvis songs include, “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Heartbreak Hotel” and “A Little Less Conversation.”
The name Presley originates from an English surname based on a place name meaning “priest's clearing.” This is another unisex name that you can give your little boy or girl. Currently Presley sits at #2474 on the popular names list.
This year we lost another musical great, Prince. Prince was a multi-instrumentalist, musical innovator with a wide vocal range who became known as much for his extravagant image as he was for his music.
In 1993 he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and in 2000 he began referring to himself as 'Prince' once again. The LA Times has called Prince, “our first post-everything pop star, defying easy categories of race, genre and commercial appeal.” Some of Prince's greatest songs include, "Purple Rain," "Little Red Corvette" and "Kiss."
“What's missing from pop music is danger.” - Prince
The name Prince is an English boy’s name that means 'royal son' or 'chief.' Currently Prince sits at #387 on the popular names list in the US and is continuing to become increasingly popular.
6 Ramon (Ramona)
Arguably more punk, than rock, The Ramones are often credited as being the first band to define the punk rock sound. Formed in Queen’s, New York, in 1974, the entire band adopted stage names that included the last name 'Ramone.'
The raw punk sound, and high energy, fast played live shows were what made The Ramones punk legends. Numerous modern bands boast their major influence was The Ramones, including The Strokes, Motorhead, Pearl Jam, and Green Day.The Ramones are most popular songs include, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” "I Want to Be Sedated” and “Rockaway Beach.” The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
“To me, punk is about being an individual and going against the grain and standing and saying ‘This is who I am’.” - Joey Ramone.
Ramone/Ramona is a Spanish name derived from the name Raymond meaning "to guard wisely" or "protecting hands." Notable people with the names Ramon or Ramona include: Ramona from the Beverly Cleary children’s book series, and baseball players Ramon Ortiz, and Ramon Hernandez.
Lou Reed was a musician whose solo career spanned five decades. Best known for his distinctive voice both as the principal singer of the Velvet Underground he was a true poet of lyrics. Reed has influenced musicians everywhere and even Bono himself has said, "Every song we've ever written was a rip-off of a Lou Reed song."
“I don't like nostalgia unless it's mine.” - Lou Reed.
The name reed comes from old English meaning 'red.' Here's another unisex name for babies and it's pretty popular int eh US. Currently it ranks #329 on boy's name lists and #2826 on the popular girl's name list.
Stevie Nicks is a singer and songwriter who is well-known for her unique vocals in both her solo career and with the band Fleetwood Mac. The band’s second album, after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band, 'Rumours' was the best-selling album of 1977 and is the fifth best-selling album of all time.
“If you have stage fright, it never goes away. But then I wonder: is the key to that magical performance because of the fear?” - Stevie Nicks
Stevie is an abbreviation for the male name Steven. Steven is derived from Greek origin and means "wreath," "crown," "honor" and "reward." Another notable rock icon is Stevie Wonder. As you can see, the name is suitable for both genders. Currently the name is #6360 on popular boy's name lists and #988 on popular girl's name lists.
3 Siouxsie (pronounced Susie)
Siouxsie Sioux is best known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. The band has been considered one of the most influential British groups of the rock era. The song most 90's kids will remember them for is "Kiss Them for Me." The band has been around since 1979 and managed to evolve with the changing rock'n roll landscape.
"Her voice is, in its own right, the common thread through all of it. There is no one who sings like that. And I think there are a lot of people who were influenced by it, but even if you try and sing like her, you can't do that. You can't throw your voice like that. You can't throw harmony like that. That is a very distinct voice. Her technique is a thread between the really far-out stuff and opera and pop music. It's distinct. It's all her own.” - Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio
The name Susie (Siouxsie) is a Hebrew name meaning "graceful lily." Siouxsie can be a shortened form of Susan. The name enjoyed a long running popularity from before 1880 up until the 70's when the name started to drastically decline in popularity. Currently the name sits at #1936 on the popular girls's name list.
Thurston Moore is a founding member and vocalist and guitarist for the band Sonic Youth. Sonic Youth has been praised for having "redefined what rock guitar could do.” They were the first part of the American noise rock movement and influenced many bands.
“People see rock and roll as, as youth culture, and when youth culture becomes monopolized by big business, what are the youth to do? Do you, do you have any idea? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture.” - Thurston Moore.
Thurston is a Scandinavian name that means "Thor’s stone." Similar names to Thurston include Thorin, Thorian and Torsten. Currently Thurston sits at #1602 on the boy's popular names list.
Steven Tyler is the frontman of Aerosmith and is sometimes referred to as the “Demon of Screamin” because of his high screams and large vocal range. With a style that combines blues and hard rock, they have generations of fans spanning back to the band’s beginnings in the 1970s. Aerosmith is America’s best-selling band of all time.
“Every life has a measure of sorrow, and sometimes this is what awakens us.” - Steven Tyler
Tyler is an old English word referring to the door keeper of an inn. It is also thought to come from the occupational surname of someone who makes tiles. Another great feature of this name is that is's unisex. Tyler was in the top 10 girl's names from 1992-2000, but has declined in popularity since and now sits at #2522
Tyler has been a more popular boys name throughout the years. It was hugely popular from 1980-1990's and still continues to be a popular boy name sitting at #81 in the US.